State Sen. Adriano Espaillat announced today that he will make a second bid for Rep. Charles Rangels’ congressional seat.
Espaillat was confident he’ll fare better than in 2012, when he lost to Rangel by 987 votes.
“This time I’m going to have support from folks who were not with me the last time,” Espaillat told amNewYork. “I will be rolling out endorsements to show that this is a broader campaign, a campaign with a bigger tent. I think we will cross the finish line first.”
Espaillat, 59, represents the 31st state senate district, which comprises the most western part of Manhattan and all of its northern tip, from Washington Heights to Marble Hill. InEspaillat saidvoters in the congressional district will need to unite in order to have their message heard by lawmakers.
“That has not happened,” he said. “We feel very often that we’re doing this alone, that we don’t have a champion in Washington.”
In the 13th Congressional district — which encompasses northern Manhattan and a swath of the south Bronx — residents are battling the issues of housing, fair wages and immigration reform, Espaillat said.
The 83-year-old Rangel, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1970, said in a statement, “We welcome challengers to the contest and look forward to a spirited debate.”
In the statement, Rangel said he is still working on the issues of living wages, unemployment insurance, immigration reform, affordable housing and “standing up for veterans.”
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced Thursday she would endorse Espaillat.
“Adriano understands the economic challenges New Yorkers are facing, and will bring enthusiastic leadership to Washington on the issues that matter,” she said
“He will unite our district in support of the change we need, and I look forward to working with him as a congressman.”